Months before I was getting really serious about the Revolution Tour, I fell in love with a beautiful painting from Meg Goodyear. There was something so magical in the painting, calling to me. The lighting, the shapes and shadows of a small herd of deer in what I pictured as the early morning hours touched my soul so deeply. I asked Meg if it was for sale but because of my upcoming plans to travel, I needed to see it in person to know if it was the right item to take along.
We arrived at Meg’s house and she brought it out for me to look at it. One touch, and I knew it had something wonderful to teach me. I went to hand her our agreed price and with her sunshine smile she said it is a gift. I was astounded by her generosity, it was an original painting and she was gifting it to me! When we got home, I hung it on the wall. It brought me so much peace each time I looked at it.
Fast forward several months and I’m in the middle of facing some diagnosis and symptoms that are scaring me. That point of which I wonder if I just need to do the “safe and normal” thing and stay at my job that was not fulfilling me; keep at the grind and keep going to Dr.’s to spend money in the hopes my health would improve. I was at a crossroads, and wondered if it was a sign that I shouldn’t go on the Revolution Tour. My book had taken a dusty corner due to my fatigue and stress at work. My money was going down the drain faster than I could keep up with due to the medical bills and I didn’t know what to do. I was so tired of living in Arizona and every summer for the past 12 years, I would say this is my LAST summer here. I didn’t want to bear another one, especially if the Dr. was right that I could lose my ability to walk. I sure couldn’t spend my last summer of walking inside trying to survive the heat. I wanted to be out hiking in places I love. I decided I would get serious on shopping for an RV or a camper.
Smaller was better in my opinion, and the least expensive seemed perfect. This was before I knew certain RV parks discriminated by age of trailers and wouldn’t allow units that were more than 10 years old. This was before I knew if I wanted to pull a car and buy an RV or camper. I read, and read and read blogs, articles on living on the road and discovered it was usually less expensive to travel via a trailer than an RV. I also didn’t want to end up in a lot of debt either; just in case things went really south with my health and my daughter Emily would be left to clean up a mess I would leave behind. So I applied for a loan and was pre-approved which I took as a good sign. I started to go shopping. I found the cutest little RV that some kindred spirits had taken off in to find their bliss, just like I had planned. It all seemed so perfect.
I called the bank to report my happy news to find out the RV’s value was so low compared to their asking price that I couldn’t swing it. It turned out it just fine anyway because when we got to looking at the pictures in further detail Emily pointed out that it only had one bed above the cab. That sure wasn’t going to work for a lady who may lose her mobility. We kept shopping, I started to look at trailers. Again, smaller was ideal. My dream size would have been about 18 feet but nothing was presenting itself in my price range. One day I see this trailer pop up on Craig’s list and it looks like new on the inside plus it was below budget! I started to get pretty excited so I ran the numbers and the asking price fell below the value. This trailer had two things going for it, the drawback was its size.-26-28 feet!! I figured a trailer that size would be too heavy for a half ton truck but it was an ultra-light aluminum trailer and now it had three things going for it. We made an appointment to go look at the trailer.
We were going to go look at the trailer right after my Dr. appointment that afternoon. My mind was numb on the drive out. I wasn’t prepared for the news I had just received. I had failed some neurological tests and was presenting with signs of MS and neurological deficiencies. My mind was full of so many uncertainties, questions and fears. On the precipice of finally deciding to go and seek my best life was I going to lose it? What if I got out on the road without a job, insurance and lost my ability to walk? Should I even go? We pull into the drive and meet Joe. Joe had a smile and demeanor that could melt an iceberg. He was down to earth and spent over an hour with us as I looked over every inch of the trailer. I noted it had a stained glass window of a Stag on the door but just thought it was a nice little artistic touch. . I knew with all the other trailers I had looked at this was an incredible find for the price. Inside the trailer felt brand new, the outside showed signs of fading from the Arizona heat and all my energies felt like Joe was an outstanding person with a good heart.
While everything seemed fine about the trailer, I wasn’t at peace or settled. I was so tired of making life decisions that didn’t feel right but all my common sense said this trailer was the best I had seen. Against, my inner turmoil I told Joe I wanted to purchase the trailer but couldn’t come back for a couple of days. I didn’t trust my feelings due to all the fear swirling in my body because of my health and just the shear courage it was taking to take such a risk. I mean, it isn’t every day you become a modern day pioneer. I was selling my material goods and packing up to hit the road to find my bliss. My friend agreed to let me keep the trailer at her house until I was ready to leave. It was December when I purchased the trailer. I finally had made a commitment to the Revolution Tour. Now I needed to decide when I’d launch. I still felt like I had an out and I could just sell the trailer if I decided not to go.
As the diagnosis and things with my health kept changing I knew I needed to lean more than ever on my Reiki training and stay connected spiritually to what was going on in my body. One day I was deep in meditation during an energy session and I sensed there was a presence with me. Since I had asked many years ago not to see spirits I wondered if I opened my eyes if I would see what or who it was. I opened my eyes. I said out loud, “I know I asked the Divine years ago to not show me spirits but at this point in my life, I’m ready. Could I see you?’ Still nothing appeared. I went back to meditating and doing Reiki. I feel the presence very strong and asked to see it in my mind. Just like in my mystical painting from Meg, the light starts to shift and through the glow I see a leg appear. I couldn’t quite make it out and asked to see it clearer, then I recognize it as the leg of a deer. A doe. Now to some this might sound a little crazy but the Divine/God/Spirit has most often appeared to me and spoken to me through animals. I had never connected with deer before or at least that is what I remembered. Here are some of the things I discovered on Shamanic Journey.com:
“Deer has entered your life to help you walk the path of love with full consciousness and awareness, to know that love sometimes requires caring and protection, not only in how we love others, but also in how we love ourselves”. It also talked about forcing things and it made me think about purchasing the trailer in the midst of so much strife and also all my health issues.
Then I read the following in the Buddhist Tradition, deer are by nature timid and serene animals and their presence in a place represents the purity of a kingdom bereft of fear. (www.faena.com) I then remembered my painting from Meg, which is what the painting embodied for me….peace, a deep peace. The protection of being with those who understood. I then understood the importance of her painting. My life in this season was in desperate need of peace. Was my deer spirit there to help me release fear and dwell in peace?
Months later as we were getting the trailer ready for the road and I had resolved my worries about my health and decided to just make this trip. I believed taking this trip was the best way to introduce healing into my body. The deer was bringing me peace and rest. I still hadn’t quite come to a peaceful place about my trailer choice, it was bigger than what I wanted. Every time Emily and I went to the trailer we both were so happy and peaceful. Everything felt so good so I decided once again I would pour some energy into this uneasiness and see if there was some divine guidance.
As I was meditating, I was drawn back to the deer. Her message of peace, safety and comfort. I was asking a lot of questions about the trailer and my truck and if I was safe to hit the road and for the first time it sunk in the incredible connection that my trailer door had a stag stained glass window. I was crying at this point. My DEER, I had chosen the right trailer. So I looked up the meaning of the Stag and this is what I found
“The Stag is the king of the forest, the protector of all other creatures” and low and behold, I had the deer energy all around me. The beautiful peacefulness in Meg’s painting, my vision of the deer spirit near me and now the Stag on my door, protecting me. I’d like to say that it removed every ounce of anxiety and brought me the deep peace my spirit is longing for but there is still some anxious insecurity lurking in my shadow. It has been there my whole life, it came about for a very good reasons, my anxious insecurity was always on alert trying to predict other’s behavior to save me from pain. It isn’t irrational, it is diligent, always trying to save, protect and prevent. One thing I am learning about myself as I am going through this transformation is after all the years of recovery and counseling there is still a layer of anxiety that has held on. I am also discovering as I work to shrink my tumors and find health, there is much emotion tied up in them as well. As Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. has noted, our bodies do keep the score. The beauty of this Deer energy is that it is very nurturing, kind and gentle which is what my anxiety requires. It shall heal when it’s ready. Until then, I shall remind it of the truth that our life is safe now. I have much more to write about the healing process another time but for now I’m looking at my Stag on the door and heading out to the Wilderness Preserve to look for some whales. Deer energy is around me and in faith I know I am protected and peace is present.
I thought this story was complete but as I was walking the ½ mile down to the light house I was talking to Emily about my Shaman like nature and we look over to see a herd of deer looking right at us. For me, this is nothing less than the beautiful love notes that have been whispered over my life from the Divine/God/Spirit. I am so humbled by this magical life I live. And as if that wasn’t enough, that evening around our campfire our new neighbors walk by and comments, “My, that is a gorgeous door. I love that Deer”. No one in the last two months has made such a fuss over my door and because of his generous comments I felt another hug from the Universe.
We get so caught up in our shadow emotions and try to hide them, keep them quiet, and tell them to go away. We want to control others when their shadow or vulnerability picks at something we want to keep quiet. What I feel we fail to realize is the Divine is always with us, holding us and encouraging us to come into the light and be free. Never harshly or condemning, always loving, nurturing and kind. There is room for all that we are and in that space of love we can find peace. Peace that what you are is enough, there is no demand that when you get better or become something you will be lovable- you are loved. Transformation is only possible in the space of surrender, if we resist all that we are it becomes a greater wound. Surrendering to the truth allows us to find freedom. I hope you find your love note today. It is evident, my Deer, I am home